Prescribe Nutrition is having a little love affair this summer. Our crush? The Pop Nation (www.thepopnation.com). Sarah Stewart, owner and co-founder remembers her time in the kitchen as a kid. Lucky us – The Pop Nation is contributing some of their tasty recipes for our upcoming Kids Rule program…and we’re sharing with all of YOU as well.
If I look back on my 30+ years, food has always been at the forefront. I have fond memories of baking cookies with my favorite babysitters as a kid. Rainy weekend days I can remember my mom saying, “should we make something?” in that tone of voice that makes it sound like she’s suggesting the most spectacular, original and exciting activity. We would take out my kid’s cookbook and leaf through the five or so recipes in there. I’d usually settle on the doughy pretzels that I liked to shape into the letters of my family members’ names. My mom taught me that peeling carrots while standing on a backward-facing chair in front of the sink could be equally as fun as any Legos or My Little Ponies, orr that mushing up cold egg yolks, bright green parsley, torn bread and ground beef with your bare (always clean!) hands is way better than digging in any sandbox. Who needs Playdough when you can crank fresh pasta through a pasta maker, or shape the trimmings from a piecrust into a snake, bake it and top it with jam to make Great Grandma Mimi’s Cookies? I can still picture tearing a waxy Dixie cup off of a multi-color popsicle that I had carefully layered with OJ, lemonade, and whole raspberries from the garden. No matter what it was, I always felt such pride and satisfaction in my creations as a kid.
|Hey, this is me.
|As an adult, cooking is my meditation. After a long day nothing relaxes me more than grabbing an apron, slinging a fresh dishtowel over my shoulder, turning on the radio in our teeny tiny kitchen and making dinner. In the winter, our drafty windows are sealed up (usually caulked and cellophaned) and the heat from our 1920 Wedgwood stove warms the kitchen to a toasty temp while stovetop pots steam up the windows. In the summer, I open every window and door, and crank the fans, but I hardly notice the sometimes 90+ temperatures in the kitchen when I’m in the zone. These days, the order of operations when my family plans a visit to any of our homes or favorite vacation spots is: 1) pick the date, 2) buy the plane tickets, 3) start the menu and grocery list in a shared Google doc. It’s all about the food.
|Is there anything finer than picking your own food?
About two years ago I finally turned my professional life in the direction of food. I now work with my younger brother, Tim, and two good friends, husband/wife pair, Mark and Anne McGinty, making gourmet, vegan and gluten-free Pop Nation popsicles (www.thepopnation.com). Our start was what some might call “organic” (fitting!). Our first business meetings took place in a living room with a crying baby and some beers. All four of us work non-stop on everything from recipe testing to pushing our Paletas carts on the streets of SF to bookkeeping and sales. We’ve raised funds using the site kickstarter.com. We’re learning as we go, and none of us has ever felt so good about what we’re doing. Bringing healthy, delicious, frozen treats to market using ingredients from our local farms brings me more joy than I ever thought a job could.
My husband and I are expecting our first baby this November. While I know it will be year(s?) before I can suggest “should we make something?” to a bored little kid on a Saturday afternoon, I’m already looking forward to it. I can only hope that my passion for cooking has half the impact that my mom’s did on me. I’m sharing a few Pop Nation recipes with you here… maybe a good way to get your own kids into the kitchen this summer. Or, a little meditation time for yourself!
|Good food makes for good pops.
Look tasty? They are! Check out these amazing recipes below, and for more info on how to find them and to keep up with The Pop Nation, like them on Facebook!
POP NATION RECIPES
Spotted Pink Cow Pops (a.k.a. Strawberry & Coconut Pops)
6 oz organic strawberries
1.5 Tbsp plus 1 tsp honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Blend strawberries and 1 tsp honey until smooth. In separate dish, combine coconut milk, vanilla and 1.5 Tbsp honey. Alternately pour the coconut and strawberry mixture into your molds (to create the cow’s spots!). Freeze and enjoy.
Note: Swap out the strawberries for any of your favorite in season fruits – blueberries, peaches, blackberries, cherries… yum! For single color pops, blend all ingredients together and freeze.
Peach & Ginger Iced Tea Pops
12 oz ripe peaches (pits removed)
3 Tbsp raw organic cane sugar (or honey)
1/2 cup unsweetened black tea
Cut the ginger into medallions. Combine water, ginger, sugar in a pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, steep for 10 mins. Discard ginger medallions, reserve the liquid.
Combine peaches, tea, lemon juice and ginger water mixture. Blend until smooth.
Pour into molds, freeze and enjoy!
Note: I use peaches with their skin on, but to easily remove the skin, cut a small x in the bottom of the peach. Drop into boiling water for 1 minute or until skin loosens. Run peach under cold water and the skin should slip right off.
12 oz organic strawberries
3.5 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into molds and freeze.
Note: This recipe can be made without the olive oil. The reason we add it is because healthy fats can give pops a smooth and soft texture.